Tales from the Sea Garden

Tales from The Sea Garden

Email me: theseagarden@btinternet.com

Friday, 11 October 2019

Still here!

 Gosh it's been a long time, but I'm still here! Sorry for my very long absence......
The shop just takes up all of my time; this Summer especially has just been exhausting, I think partly because I was still coping emotionally  with the death of my Dad, and seeing Mum struggling with her grief and doing my best to support her.
But I'm finding my groove once more now that things have quietened down. Autumn colours are creeping into the displays and  antique dyed linens are neatly stacked ready to find a new lease of life on someone's dinner table, dressing table or bed.

A shelf of Patsy's beautiful Liberty fabric covered notebooks
and these 19th C 'hexies' would make a lovely feature on the front of a small cushion or lavender pillow.
See you again soon, I promise......

Friday, 19 April 2019

 Happy Easter weekend everyone!
 The Spring flowers are out in all their glory now in Cornwall. Last week I visited Godolphin.....
Beneath the ancient apple trees and all amongst the grass were snakeshead fritillaries and primroses

Inside the potting shed......
 cobwebs and nests
New buds emerging......
 verdant mossy banks
I climbed up Godolphin Hill and walked barefoot right round the perimeter, sensing the cool grass and the warm granite of the rocks as I trod. I lay under an oak tree, so stunted in its growth by the wind that I could rest my feet on its lowest branch and gaze up though the latticework of branches to the bluest of blue skies above.
My dear Dad passed away a month ago. These last few weeks have been a time of great sadness, and  reflection; of memories and gratitude for all that he gave to us, and the wonderful life that we shared together. x

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Small and cute...

 The weather was a bit wild today so I stayed in and made cards this morning. Most of the pieces I collect on the beach end up in my shell collages, but I also have lots of tiny shells and pieces of sea-glass and pebbles that are just too small for that. So I decided to do a series of little arrangements on cards, which people can frame up, if they want to.
So many different shades of blue and green and clear glass!

 On a larger scale I have just completed my first noticeboard; an idea that I've had brewing for a couple of years now (sometimes it takes that long for an idea to come to fruition!)
A sea navigation chart is stuck onto a piece of foam board so that cards and photos and notes can be pinned onto it, as desired. I found the frame in a second-hand shop, almost exactly the same size as the chart; how lucky was that! I've embellished it with a swag of vintage fabric bunting stitched on and a few pictures from magazines. Simple!
 My collection of succulents and ferns grows ever larger. I love it when I find a new variety that I like the look of; it's all in the shape of the leaves. And I'm having fun finding nice pottery containers to put them in. So nice to have something living in the house, and they don't require much care and attention.
The days are getting longer now; hurrah, Spring is here!

Saturday, 16 February 2019

The Egyptian House

In an ordinary street in Penzance lies a quite extra-ordinary building: The Egyptian House.
It is a rare survivor of a style that was in fashion after Napoleon's campaign to Egypt in 1798. In 1834 a Penzance bookseller called John Lavin bought two cottages in Chapel Street, raised the height of the building by one storey and added the remarkable pseudo-Egyptian facade. John Lavin sold maps, guides and stationery but his main business was in minerals. Many of the rare geological specimens he sold were found by Cornish miners, both in the county and from those working overseas.
 This is where I have spent the last four nights on my mini break. I have seen this building many, many times throughout my life but never imagined that one could actually stay in it! The Egyptian House is just one of the remarkable places available to rent from The Landmark Trust, a charity set up in 1965 by husband and wife John and Christian Smith, to save from demolition or decay buildings of historic and cultural interest.

Detail of one of the pillars at the front door. At the back of the building is a steep spiral staircase.....
which leads to the apartments on three floors. The doors are actually curved, something I have never seen before!
Inside the rooms are tastefully furnished with antique wooden furniture and appropriate period pictures. It was cosy and welcoming, with plenty of interesting books to read. It is a policy of The Landmark Trust not to supply its properties with televisions, radios or Wifi; a real break from modern life.

Living a bit out in the sticks as I do, it was great to be able to walk out the door and explore Penzance on foot, its many interesting shops, galleries and museums. I saw the most wonderful exhibition of photographs of Cornwall in the 1880's at the Penlee Museum; such evocative images of Cornish villagers in Newlyn, Mousehole and Sennen eking out a meagre existence from fishing and mining, living in the most humble of cottage dwellings. Now those same cottages have been turned into chic boutique holiday retreats; just what would those fisherfolk have thought of that I don't know!
One day I drove to Cape Cornwall and Priest's Cove. Only Land's End a short distance away is more westerly than this. Nothing but ocean for hundreds of miles until you reach North America. One of the photographs I saw at Penlee was of the mine that used to be here; now there are just a few cottages. 

The fishermen who still use Priest's Cove have built little shelters into the cliff edge using any materials to hand.
I was sat on a bench outside one of them when this little robin came and perched on a lobster pot, and we conversed in our own fashion for quite a long time. I was only sorry I didn't have any titbits to give him.

This shed had a boulder and several heavy iron weights holding the roof down. I can only imagine what it must be like here during a gale!

The beach is littered with the most beautifully rounded granite pebbles

Life here really is living on the edge. Bleak, desolate, wild.

Oh joy of joys! A new discovery for me; this amazing antique shop in St. Just selling all things maritime.
Walking in here was like stepping back in time and I just loved everything!
That chequerboard floor.....
Bits salvaged from wrecks, bottles, lamps, weapons, coins, ropes, floats, blocks, compasses, models of ships in glass cases, sea charts, even bi-corn hats, I could go on.....

I chatted with owner Craig Chapman for well over an hour, we shared an obvious love for old and interesting 'objets' and it was lovely to talk to a fellow trader.

The next day I walked from Newlyn to Mousehole. Along the sea edge were a number of quirky little garden plots, with wonderful views of Mounts Bay and Penzance in the distance.
In the harbour at Mousehole I searched for sea glass and china, and watched the cute turnstones as they skittered back and forth on the tideline.
On my return journey home on Friday I stopped at St. Ives. The weather was glorious, the sea at Porthmeor a perfect blue. 

I live in the most beautiful county and even in February I wouldn't want to go anywhere else for my holiday. Thank you Cornwall!